Monday, July 26, 2010

Carbon Copiers

I'm blowing the lid on Australia's inability to make real progress on matters of climate change control (CCC).

The debate has inevitably fallen down along party lines, meaning if you're a Liberal you are a climate change denier, and if you're a pinko communist (Hi, Kev!) you favour a carbon tax (or Emissions Trading Scheme). No, don't argue - it really is that simple.

If you're a Green, do yourself a favour. Put your money down, become a member, and get your arse down to their monthly meetings. You will discover that they are an ineffective political force with absolutely no idea, and can't be trusted with the balance of power in the Senate. End of. Now shut up.

So back to our efforts at CCC.

There can be no doubt that human interference is contributing in some way to our environment and, consequently, our climatic conditions. But let's keep a few things in perspective. Detailed records of global temperatures only extend less than than two hundred years - and even some of those records have to be considered dubious - from the instruments used to measure the information, to the methods used to record them.

Also, I'm something of a keen astronomological observer, when one considers that the single greatest influence on our climate is the proximity of the earth to the sun you have to wonder just what extent human factors are playing on these already rubbery figures.

For those of you that need a little edumacation, the orbit of the earth around the sun is not a perfect circle. Nor is it a perfect ellipse. The vertical axis of the earth as it orbits the sun is also a variable factor from year to year. So global temperatures are going to fluctuate not just on a yearly basis, but on an almost incalculable cycle.

But I'm getting away from the point I was trying to make. If you're a Liberal you are a climate change denier. Of course you are. Penny Wong just said as much on Q&A tonight. Okay, that's a fair enough call. People with a right leaning political persuasion just want to stick their head in the sand and deny (actually in much the same way as I've done above) that anything at all could ever be going wrong.

Well, if that's the charge you levy, how about this? The left side of politics is so bereft of leadership and ideas that they can't possibly solve a problem without whacking a tax, a surcharge, or a levy on the solution. The ETS is typical of this. The Labor Party complain that they can't get consensus on this issue, and now (just like Kev07's brilliant 2020 summit) are calling for another wankfest to solve a problem that the government was charged to do when they were elected.

Maybe I can boil this down for any ALP plants that are trawling my blog for solutions. Show some real leadership and LEGISLATE your CCC solutions. This is the platform you were elected on. But don't complain when the polls slam you when your idea of a solution is to charge people to solve it. Seriously. I could solve the problem of organised crime by taxing everyone and siphoning the proceeds to criminals. I could solve the problem of drink driving by taxing everyone and paying for stretch limos to ferry boozers to and from the pub. I could solve the problem of asylum seekers by taxing everyone, buying a tropical island, and sending illegal immigrants to live scot free in paradisde.

But this doesn't work! Not only doesn't it work, but even the illiterate, retarded, inbred jerks that are the Australian electorate know it.

Here's an idea. Come up with a solution that shows leadership. Come up with a solution that is inspirational. Come up with a solution that is world's best practice. Come up with a solution that is so good the Australian people will embrace it.

Until you do can you please STFU about how everybody that complains that you wanna tax them as a solution is somehow a Dickensian luddite?

Can I also ask, for those that might know a little more about the subject than me, why solar power isn't compulsory for all new residential developments? All the press I've read is of ordinary people, in ordinary homes, selling their excess electricity back into the power grid for profit. I do read that solar power isn't perfect, and that the technology still has room for improvement, but there seems no reason why we can't just destroy the existing paradigm of power companies with a technology that (let's face it) has been around for as long as I've been on the planet.

Anyways - as you were. Until next time.



Stephen said...

It *is* simple. People *are* changing the climate (with a high degree of probability) by burning (dinosaur) shit.

It's *not* the sun, the records are accurate enough to show that an increase in the CO2 concentration in our atmosphere is the culprit.

Before disagreeing check to see whether the talking point you got from Rupert Murdoch has been written up. There's actual climate scientists discussing the actual climate science.

It is serious. The difference in average global temperature between now and the last ice age is 5 degrees c. We’ve now pretty much locked in 2-3 degrees c increase over the pre-carbon-boom level in the next 100 years.

There’s heaps of things that could happen as a result. Droughts, floods, storms, hail of toads. Wouldn’t you rather not find out?

Over to the politics.

The Liberal Party leadership (of the day) made a deal with the Labor Party leadership (of the day) on the CPRS and as a result of that were deposed in a shady back room deal. The new leader is on record as saying the science behind climate change is “crap”.

The Labor Party decided not to do anything about climate change and their popularity plummeted and resulted in the leadership being deposed in a shady back room deal (Rudd would not have been deposed if his popularity had been anything like it had been in the previous years).

No one negotiated with the Greens over the CPRS.

The Greens are untrustworthy? Why would they be an ineffective political force if they had the balance of power? Is it better that Steve Fielding has the balance of power, elected as a result of a shady back room deal that resulted in ALP voters giving their preferences to someone they wouldn’t have had they known what was going on?. Once again - the *Greens* are untrustworthy?

Which party, if voted for, do you think would be serious about reducing carbon emissions? Which party wouldn’t depose their leader if they made a deal to pass an CPRS? Which party isn’t controlled by unions acting for mining companies or big business?

The method.

You’re right that they should show leadership and just legislate. Like, say, fund insulation in people’s roofs. That’s a no-brainer. Oh that’s right, they did that and got crucified in the media when there were *fewer* fires per installation than previously.

By charging for permits to dump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere the money doesn’t disappear. We pay for it when we buy products whose creation emits CO2 and get it back in other ways e.g. tax cuts for the rich, paid maternity leave or to cover short falls in the mining super-profits tax that would have to be paid for some other way.

And pricing emissions has worked. It worked in the US with SO2 pollution, reducing SO2 emissions by 40% and acid rain levels by 65%. Not as successful as regulation in the EU which achieved 70% reductions in SO2 emissions but I would argue that CO2 is a more complicated problem which needs a much broader approach than that required for SO2.

So why not just legislate for solar panels? Because maybe having a solar panel on your roof in rainy Melbourne at 37.48.49S may not be a good idea? Maybe a solar thermal plant in a desert is a better idea. Maybe gerbils in exercise wheels would be better.I don’t know, but if you can make money out of knowing then someone will find out.

Anonymous said...

Wow Stephen. I guess ticking the box marked "interesting" just didn't cut it for ya?

Anonymous said...

Hey Bazza,

I must take issue with your understanding of an emission trading scheme. It's not a tax as we understand, know and loathe. It is a method of putting a price on carbon and rewarding those that "green" up and punishing those that don't. A tax is usually more broad based and fixed inside some bands AND the most important difference goes to the Government. Simplistically speaking a trading scheme means the money from the emitter doesn't go to the government but instead to reward those initiates energy saving programs. It is not unlike the already accepted renewable energy certificate or REC. How that works is the generator of coal fired elect plants have to buy a certain number of rec's to of set their generation of carbon. If you install a PV solar system they essentially buy the REC from you (via a middleman or REC trader). Is that a tax? If so, I am the tax man as I have collect plenty of REC's from my Solar hot Water and solar PV system.

the REC price or the Carbon price will fluctuate subject to supply and demand.

I do hate this wrong interpretation of the EMS and the dumbing down of a system that sits beautifully in a capitalist society where you let the market decide (after you create that market of course).

Solar Smiley

Anonymous said...


Sorry Craig,

I forgot to add...........
I agree. PV should be compulsory for all new builds. It is not as inefficient as it is made out to be and Melbounre has plenty of sun when compared to Europe. First 3 months of this year I got $400 paid to me in excess power. I'll use up some of that this winter but over the year I will have a net income.

Tones said...

I vote for the gerbils in exercise wheels.